Given the current state of division and distrust in the United States, what makes you most angry about our country?
At the top of my list, the cost of health insurance. We have a family of six and it used to cost us $500 a month for the family. In 2019, it was $2,100 mo for the family. The year before Obama Care came out, it was still cheap. Then it went to $1,000 that first year. Since then, it’s steadily gone up $300-$400 a year. It just keeps going up. That leads into my next point where, I sit and watch the three-and-half months of the impeachment process and nothing’s getting done, zero.
Red Wing, Minn.
Politics in general. I’ve stopped listening. It’s nonstop arguments. Like at work, people are arguing and not listening. It makes me uncomfortable. It makes people in general less friendly. That’s annoying. It’s why I stay away from politics. Hopefully we’ll figure it out, maybe.
The whole picking on President Trump. I think every president tries to do the best they can. Who are we to say that they’re lying? I know they need to investigate, but I’m really getting tired of it. It’s a downer. There’s been quite a few good presidents. Then there's always the media. And the Congress. I say practice what you preach. I am hoping that we will figure it out. I’d like to hear some good news. It’s going to take a multitude of people to move the country in the right direction. I absolutely think young people will do it.
It’s the "we" versus "they." Basically, just because you have an idea, and I’m in a different party, I don’t like your idea. Why the hell can’t the two of them get along? I’ve worked as a leader in many areas, with many races, many colors, many creeds and we could put things together. Why can’t they? It’s a matter of hatred. There’s too much hatred. This has been going on for 13-14 years. .... I think they have the tools to get out of this, but it’s a matter of whether they use them or not. I’m not optimistic at all. I think the president we have now, I think he’s doing a great job whether people disagree with him or not. But there’s so much hatred toward him and he’s going to win again and they’re going to hate every minute of it.
Politicians that are so dishonest. It’s hard to find a good one. I don’t want to name names but. Over the last 20 years, they don’t give the people what they promise, across the board. This has been building up for a while. You could take Joe Blow off the street and he’d do just as good as some of these people have been doing. Right now, I don’t think this can get resolved. Kids these days aren’t like kids used to be. They’re disconnected. I’m not really optimistic at the moment.
I don’t really have anything in particular. I just live in this little town of New Richmond. Stay in our bubble and stay in our lane and what’s going to be is going to be. I focus on the things that I can control, like my family, my career, my goals. You can’t get caught up in the bigger “stuff.” It makes people negative and angry. No, I don’t think this is going to get better. I think it can get worse. If you talked to my dad, growing up in the 1960s, what they thought was the worst is not even comparable to what’s going on in 2020, how bitter it is. Social media, I think, makes people crazy and can evolve things into something they're really not. I’m concerned about what my kids are growing up in.
Picking one thing, that’s the challenge. Let’s just say, it seems like there are so many people that think that they’re just absolutely right and there’s no compromise. Compromise is seen as weakness or not being true to yourself. If we could recognize that the other side actually has a point and that maybe we should give something up so that somebody else can get something done, maybe then actual progress can be made on some of the big problems we have. There’s no listening. Is there a way out of this? I would say it’s going to take a lot of courage on a lot of people’s parts and I think people will have to be willing to listen.
Taxes. Little guys like us get hammered. ... The cost of living has gone up but our wages have been the same. I’ve been there 35 years. They say, I’m at the top pay for the kind of work that I do. Since the cost of everything else continues to go up, I’m actually making less money now than I was 15 years ago. ... I’d like to see a flat tax like Ross Perot suggested back in the day. Everybody pays the same, 4% or whatever it is, everybody pays the same no matter how much you make. It’s just me and my wife and she’s on disability. I’m 50. I’d like to retire in a couple years but I can’t because of health insurance and all that stuff.
The Democrats. They disrespect this president, the best president since Eisenhower. My dad died at 90 about seven years ago. Boy, he'd be down there every November to go vote for the DFL (Democratic-Farmer-Labor). I asked him one day and he said, “It’s the best there is. They do it for the people.” I don’t know what the hell happened to the DFL, but they’re gone. I walked away from them maybe 7 years ago. Horrible. I’m mystified by the change. They have no idea what they’re doing. I don’t know if there’s a way out. I will tell you one thing, in 1959, I was 18. Dwight David Eisenhower, I thought he was the best president I’d ever seen in my life. Turns out, I was wrong.